Come Krampus (Y8+)
Tim Griffin

!!!CAUTION!!! Younger listeners (under 8 years in our experience) may find this song unsettling.
Teachers and parents, please use your judgment.

It’s a magical time for the children
And they’re trying their best to be good
For they know who’s coming for Christmas
And what he will do to the ones who’ve not done as they should
The parents all smile as they welcome him in
Bearing unto the children the fruit of their sin

Come Krampus, come Krampus, come Christmas each year
Come show naughty children the meaning of fear
While Santa brings all the good children new toys
Come Krampus, come Krampus for bad girls and boys

You know most of the children get presents
Because they’ve been good, but if not
When Christmastime comes they will feel the dark presence
Of him who takes kids where it’s awfully hot
Remember how mankind was saved on this day
Except for the few who get carried away

Come Krampus, come Krampus, with horns on your head
Come show naughty children the meaning of dread
While good little children join in for the feast
Come Krampus, come Krampus, you horrible beast

You know Krampus is coming for Christmas,
With a sack and a switch and a chain
He’s making things easy for Santa this Christmas
For Santa just visits the ones who remain
So if old-time religion is really your thing
Then raise up your voices together and sing

Come Krampus, come Krampus, come deep in the night
Come show naughty children the meaning of fright
While good children play with the presents they got
Come Krampus, come Krampus for those who are not

Come Krampus, come Krampus, you old pagan prince
I told all my kids, they’ve been good ever since
They’re just sitting there, quietly quaking with cheer
And we all know the reason; it’s the joy of the season
‘Cause Krampus is coming for Christmas this year!


A while back, Jeff (producer, bassist, friend) ordered me to write a holiday song.

“It’ll get airplay every year,” he said. “Money in the bank,” he said.

“I’ll try,” I said.

Problem is, all the obvious holiday topics have been done and done. Being me, I kicked around some STEM-themed holiday song ideas including:

-Axial tilt is the reason for the season (too much geophysics)
-We used to have a white Christmas/Back before climate change (no good rhymes here)
-Santa and his reindeer/Burned up in the atmosphere (a festive song about friction and speed; this one may yet work)
-Please don’t eat the poinsettia/Or toxic esters gonna get ya (too much biochemistry)
-Every jolly holiday/Was once a pagan holiday (way too much ground here to cover in one song)

None of these was fully satisfactory. Then a few years ago I was invited to perform at a music festival in Germany, where I was introduced to a holiday figure who truly blew my mind. I wrote a song for Krampus. As with the stories that inspired the song, this may be traumatic for young children… which is, of course, the ENTIRE POINT of the Krampus tale: it's all about securing compliance through fear of demons, and when has that ever gone wrong?

So use your judgment, but if you want your children to bloody well follow the rules I guess this is one way to do it. I have a friend who grew up in a large family in the Netherlands, and every year on the morning of Saint Nicholas' Day (the morning after the Krampusnacht) her parents would make a big fuss about counting the children at breakfast, expressing amazement that *all* of them were still there and not dragged off to a horrible fate; a true Christmas miracle considering their behavior. Hilarious, and possibly the reason psychotherapy was developed in the same countries where Krampus is a thing.

In all sincerity, may you and yours find joy in whichever holidays and traditions you celebrate. Except Krampus; that guy is seriously messed up.

The only academic standards that might be addressed by this song are the ones where most states say they want kids to learn about other countries, cultures, and holiday traditions.

Chords on guitar: D, G, A, E, D7